The New York Times reported this week that hedge fund mega-rich dude and erstwhile would-be New York Mets minority owner and savior David Einhorn tried to poke a hole, if you will, in Green Mountain Coffee’s "K-Cup"-based fortune with a presentation designed to demonstrate that the company and its stock are “overhyped and overvalued.” Afterward, the company’s stock, which has increased in value thirtyfold in the past five years, quickly fell 13 percent.
Which all begs the question: How the fuck did this company, this coffee, and the K-Cup worm their way into our culture, our offices, our lives, like other mega-companies whose stock you wish you’d bought five or 10 years ago? Apple: OK, iPads, Macbooks…great, fun-enhancing products. Google: a true game-changer in the quest for instant knowledge gratification (and cheating at pub quiz bowls). But lousy coffee? In stupid plastic single-serve packets? In a world where good coffee is as hard to come by as repulsive odors in a Port Authority men’s room, Green Mountain has become a billionaire maker? Hell.
To step up to the robotic-looking Keurig coffee brewer in the office kitchen with a K-Cup of Green Mountain Sumatran Reserve or Nantucket Blend or, God forbid, Vermont Country Blend® Decaf in hand is to admit defeat. And we’re not really even just talking Green Mountain here – we’re talking any bullshit pod coffee. In drinking it, you’re settling for a bland, joyless fix of coffee because maybe you’re too cheap, too lazy, or too broke to go to the closest coffee franchise, café, deli, or gas station to get a pour that will actually deliver some enjoyment along with the pick-me-up you desperately need after a night of drinking yourself to sleep in front of the 19-inch flat-screen.
Herewith, seven ways to get caffeinated that beat suffering through another soul-crushing K-Cup of Green Mountain:
1. A nice cappuccino at your favorite moderately priced Italian restaurant with your lady friend.
2. A fresh, steaming mug your kindly colleague made in a coffee press with Kona beans from her gourmet coffee of the month club.
3. A grande coffee of the day at Starbucks.
4. A cuppa percolated joe from your local deli, bodega, or donut cart in one of those paper cups with the Greek design.
5. Chock Full o’ Nuts from a can, made in an old Mr. Coffee.
6. Three NoDoz crushed up in a bottle of Orangina.
7. The last pour out of the pot at a rest stop convenience store at midnight on a rainy night on the ass end of a road trip to see your in-laws. (OK, that one’s a tie.)